Ahearn leads Missouri St. past Wisc.-Milwaukee

Updated: February 19, 2006, 2:08 AM ET
Associated Press

MILWAUKEE -- Blake Ahearn scored 18 points and Nathan Bilyeu had 16 to lead Missouri State to a 72-63 victory over Wisconsin-Milwaukee on Saturday.

Running Down
BracketBusters Saturday
Winner Busted Final
No. Iowa Bucknell 65-61 (2OT)
Iona Buffalo 93-75
Kent State Butler 80-76 (OT)
Missouri St. Wis.-Milw. 72-63
Western Ky. No. Arizona 79-58
Old Dominion Marist 84-71
La. Tech So. Illinois 54-51
George Mason Wichita St. 70-67
Ohio Samford 64-52
Utah State Northwestern St. 66-63
Creighton Fresno State 67-62

The Bears (18-7) won their third straight game and sixth of their last seven outings.

The contest was one of 13 BracketBusters games ESPN televised to provide national exposure to mid-major teams that have a chance at making the NCAA Tournament.

The Panthers lost their second straight game and fourth of their last six to fall to 18-8.

Joah Tucker had 12 points and Chris Hill 11 to lead Milwaukee. Boo Davis, Jason McCoy and Avery Smith each added 10.

The Panthers were without starting forward Adrian Tigert, who hurt his back a week ago in Milwaukee's 86-57 victory over Cleveland State. He was averaging 12.7 points and 7.4 rebounds.

The Bears were on top by 11 points at 52-41 with 11:01 left after a pair of free throws by Bilyeu.

The Panthers, though, battled back to within 63-60 on a basket by McCoy with 1:06 left. On the next possession, Bilyeu was fouled and made two free throws for a five-point Missouri State lead with 55 seconds left. Milwaukee never got that close again.

The Bears led 34-28 at halftime.

Sky Frazier's layup with 15:32 left to play in the first half put Missouri State on top for good in the period at 7-6. Missouri State's biggest lead was eight points.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press